Postdoc Design and Manufacture of Micro-Actuators for Active Mechanical Metamaterials

Postdoc Design and Manufacture of Micro-Actuators for Active Mechanical Metamaterials

Published Deadline Location
4 Nov 10 Dec Delft

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We research the methods for integrating smart-material actuators in precision micro-mechanical metamaterials.

Job description

Mechanical metamaterials are a fascinating new class of materials. Metamaterials are architected materials, i.e. they have an inner micro-scale structure, that determines the macro-scale properties. Since this microstructure can be rationally designed, entirely new opportunities for designers arise: materials can be constructed with unique and tailored properties not found in nature. Also, by adapting the inner structure, the property can be actively tuned during use.

Mechanical metamaterials are expected to lead to innovations in many applications. In this project we explore mechanical metamaterials for use as compact motion component. Programmed deformation of the metamaterial can be used to fine-position objects, e.g. optical elements like lenses in complex machines: the material becomes a machine.

This Postdoc project focuses on the integration of active elements in a metamaterial structure to provide the structure with active properties, i.e. switching or tuning. This is a two-sided challenge. The design challenge is to determine at which locations in the metamaterial structure actuators are best located, as well as what type of actuator suits best in a particular design. The manufacturing challenge is how to integrate such actuator structures into the metamaterial, together with the power and control functionality. 

The end-goal is to propose workable designs for active metamaterials, and realize and experimentally test these design proposals. We have a high-level laboratory facility, which includes 3D printers, ink-jet printers, 2 photon-polymerization and laser machining, as well as a range of tools for imaging and metrology. You will be trained to use these facilities.

This position is part of a team we are establishing of in total 2 PhD and 1 Postdoc researcher. Next to the current actuator-oriented position, we have positions for design methods for metamaterials (PhD) and for manufacturing of metamaterials (PhD).


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


Candidates have a PhD degree on micro-actuators, smart materials, micro-manufacturing, micro-engineering or related fields. Successful candidates will have realized micro-actuators, developed model-based understanding, and performed laboratory experiments. Having knowledge on mechanical metamaterials is an advantage.

Several Dutch high-tech companies take part in this project. The collaboration with a team of fellow researchers and the interactions with the companies will give you the unique opportunity to learn a lot on the applications for which metamaterials have the potential of providing a breakthrough solution. Successful candidates must be able to operate in a team setting and be able to interact with companies.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 2 years.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • Doctorate
  • TUD03029


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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